Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been spotted outside of Old Trafford meeting chief executive Richard Arnold as talks over the future of Manchester United heat up.
The Manchester-born businessman, who owns chemical company INEOS, is currently competing with Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani to buy the Red Devils from incumbent owners Joel and Avram Glazer.
Ratcliffe's bid was submitted to buy the club in February. And he was joined at Old Trafford by former British Cycling supremo Sir Dave Brailsford, who now works as INEOS' director of sport, overseeing all the teams sponsored by the group.
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Just a day prior to Ratcliffe's meeting with Man United executives, Sheikh Jassim and his associates held talks with officials as the race to buy the iconic football club heats up.
While there can only be so much romanticism involved when it comes to spending billions on a football club, the purchase of Manchester United by a British businessman seems far more palatable to some fans who would rather not be associate with the gulf state of Qatar.
However, there are always two sides to the coin. And a number of United fans have jumped to social media in the wake of Ratcliffe's visit to Old Trafford to voice their preference for Qatar's Sheikh Jassim to takeover the club.
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One fan wrote "I want Qatar but it’s crazy we are at this stage seeing him there makes it feel real!" while another added "We need Qatari".
Another supporter wrote "We need Qatar" with one fan noting that while his preference was the Qatari bid, he would not mind Ratcliffe taking over Man United if it meant the end of the Glazer's tenure.
He wrote "As long as the Glazer's are gone, I really don't care who owns Man United tbh. My preferred bidder is Qatar but I won't mind SJR as long as he's ready to invest in the stadium and the first team."
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